1. Welcome to Homesteading & Country Living.
    We are glad you came to visit.
    Dismiss Notice

Black Powder for Self-Reliance

Discussion in 'Rifle Forum' started by Sentry18, Oct 8, 2019.

Help Support Homesteading Forum by donating using the link above.
  1. Oct 8, 2019 #1

    Sentry18

    Sentry18

    Sentry18

    Hired Gun Staff Member Moderator Neighbor HCL Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2017
    Messages:
    8,889
    Likes Received:
    48,518
    I will be sure and add part 2 tomorrow.


    https://survivalblog.com/black-powder-self-reliance-part-1-m-b/


     
    Bacpacker likes this.
  2. Oct 8, 2019 #2

    Sentry18

    Sentry18

    Sentry18

    Hired Gun Staff Member Moderator Neighbor HCL Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2017
    Messages:
    8,889
    Likes Received:
    48,518
     
    Bacpacker likes this.
  3. Oct 8, 2019 #3

    SheepDog

    SheepDog

    SheepDog

    Awesome Friend Neighbor HCL Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2017
    Messages:
    2,945
    Likes Received:
    13,277
    Location:
    SE Washington State
    The lead round ball (LRB) is fine at 800 to 1500 if you are not dealing with barricades or body armor. Modern improvements in protective gear requires modern ammunition to defeat it.
    LRB will travel further in water and stay lethal when fired from above the water than modern ammunition. Snipers in the revolutionary war and in the war between the states had a maximum range of about 200 yards. The modern soldier trains at 300 yards (meters). The standard speed of a cap and ball pistol was about 800 fps. Modern pistols have velocities above 1000 fps with heavier projectiles. (the main exception to this is the 45 ACP with a standard load of 230 grain bullet at 800 to 850 fps)
    Granted that it is impractical to make smokeless powder at home and for self sufficiency a black powder gun is better, however modern ammunition can be stored for a lifetime in mild temps. Remember the pioneers traveled in large groups because it took so long to reload that the American Indians had the advantage of rapid fire bows and light weight tools for close in fighting. A good bow is an effective weapon against a black powder rifle while not so good against a modern sporting rifle.
     
    ssonb, Bacpacker and Sentry18 like this.
  4. Oct 8, 2019 #4

    phideaux

    phideaux

    phideaux

    Spectator of Life Neighbor

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2017
    Messages:
    6,310
    Likes Received:
    34,088
    Location:
    West Ky
    I love black powder.

    I shoot some.

    But I also store it for other purposes.. It can be dangerous, it will make a bigger boom than tannerite.:D


    Shtf defense

    Jim
     
    Terri9630 and Sentry18 like this.
  5. Oct 8, 2019 #5

    Peanut

    Peanut

    Peanut

    Awesome Friend Neighbor HCL Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2017
    Messages:
    3,075
    Likes Received:
    17,527
    Charcoal made from members of the grape family (vitis sp) (grape vines, muscadine vines etc) is especially good for making black powder, very little processing needed.
     
    Bacpacker, Sentry18 and phideaux like this.
  6. Oct 8, 2019 #6

    phideaux

    phideaux

    phideaux

    Spectator of Life Neighbor

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2017
    Messages:
    6,310
    Likes Received:
    34,088
    Location:
    West Ky
    Thanks @Peanut , I dint know that.
    I got grave vines the size of ball bats all over .

    Jim
     
  7. Oct 8, 2019 #7

    Peanut

    Peanut

    Peanut

    Awesome Friend Neighbor HCL Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2017
    Messages:
    3,075
    Likes Received:
    17,527
    The first year I started making charcoal for the farmers market I experimented quite a bit with different types of wood.
    Some folks stopped by and was checking it out. They had a fit over the mucadine charcoal. I sold all I had, even made a batch the next year.

    Most would think charcoal is charcoal... No, it's not, different wood produces different charcoal as far as density, ease of lighting, ease of turning into powder or rate of burn etc.

    Red oak turns out perfect for cooking and filtration, it is pitted to the extreme compared to say... white oak or maple.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
  8. Oct 8, 2019 #8

    SheepDog

    SheepDog

    SheepDog

    Awesome Friend Neighbor HCL Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2017
    Messages:
    2,945
    Likes Received:
    13,277
    Location:
    SE Washington State
    White Willow is what I was always told to use. I am sure that as long as it is completely powdered any source would work. A ball mill is an absolute must and it is best to have two of them. One for the charcoal and another for the potassium nitrate. Then you can use the one for potassium nitrate to wet mix all the ingredients. To wet the ingredients I use 30% water and 70% alcohol (or you can just buy Isopropyl rubbing alcohol that is a perfect 70-30 mix of water and alcohol. f you have a problem with the mixture drying too fast use a bit more water.
     
  9. Oct 8, 2019 #9

    dademoss

    dademoss

    dademoss

    Jack of all trades. Neighbor HCL Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2017
    Messages:
    1,018
    Likes Received:
    5,328
    Location:
    Fort Coleraine, Ohio
    I like to keep some around because it goes in the .58 Musket, .58 Carbine and the .44 Remington :) In a pinch I can put it into the 45-70.
     
    Caribou, ssonb, Peanut and 3 others like this.
  10. Oct 8, 2019 #10

    hiwall

    hiwall

    hiwall

    Awesome Friend Neighbor HCL Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2017
    Messages:
    2,086
    Likes Received:
    11,969
    Location:
    White Mountians AZ
    I do have a couple of Black powder guns. I also have a few cartridge guns that could be loaded with black powder. And I have a few cannons that eat a lot of black powder.
     
    ssonb, Caribou, dademoss and 5 others like this.
  11. Oct 8, 2019 #11

    dademoss

    dademoss

    dademoss

    Jack of all trades. Neighbor HCL Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2017
    Messages:
    1,018
    Likes Received:
    5,328
    Location:
    Fort Coleraine, Ohio
    I still have cannon envy :p
     
    phideaux, Peanut, Caribou and 2 others like this.
  12. Oct 9, 2019 #12

    Cnsper

    Cnsper

    Cnsper

    Awesome Friend Neighbor HCL Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2017
    Messages:
    1,153
    Likes Received:
    6,491
    Ever wonder why the recipe for black powder is not in the encyclopedias any more? If you find and old set from say the 50s, it is in there.
     
    Terri9630, phideaux, Sentry18 and 2 others like this.
  13. Oct 9, 2019 #13

    SheepDog

    SheepDog

    SheepDog

    Awesome Friend Neighbor HCL Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2017
    Messages:
    2,945
    Likes Received:
    13,277
    Location:
    SE Washington State
    I've had the basic recipe memorized since I was 6 or 7 years old. I have also modified it just a bit to make it work better. My first gun was just the right caliber for a glass marble. I fired it remotely at a gallon jug 25 feet away. What a mess! It blew that jug into little pieces except for the bottom. Home made gun and home made powder. I was hooked!
     
    Bacog, Bacpacker, phideaux and 2 others like this.
  14. Oct 9, 2019 #14

    Caribou

    Caribou

    Caribou

    Time traveler Neighbor HCL Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2017
    Messages:
    3,510
    Likes Received:
    17,706
    I made black powder once as a teen. I had put some in a tin can and was getting ready to light it when I realised that it would leave a burn ring in my bedroom floor. I took it out to the middle of the street ant lit it off. it was poor quality and not confined so it burned slowly. When it finally stopped 90% of the can had been burned up and the little that was left was pure rust and crumbled in my hands. I realised that I almost burned down our home. I would still like to do it again so I guess that I haven't learned too much.
     
  15. Oct 9, 2019 #15

    SheepDog

    SheepDog

    SheepDog

    Awesome Friend Neighbor HCL Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2017
    Messages:
    2,945
    Likes Received:
    13,277
    Location:
    SE Washington State
    Caribou, the ingredient ratios are by weight, not by volume. That and you need all the ingredients powdered to the point of dust and combine them in a wet mixture so they are homogeneous when they dry.
    You run the semi dry mixture through a screen to get the grain size you want and then sift it when dry to get three different grain sizes. The largest grains are for rifles and cannons, the medium size is for pistols and the powdery dust is for the touch pans of flintlocks. For rockets you cast it in one large grain in the motor casing. For bombs you don't pack it, leaving it loose makes it burn much faster.

    On a side note; black powder should burn just as fast in the open as it does when contained.
     
    Bacpacker, hiwall, dademoss and 2 others like this.
  16. Oct 9, 2019 #16

    Caribou

    Caribou

    Caribou

    Time traveler Neighbor HCL Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2017
    Messages:
    3,510
    Likes Received:
    17,706
    Thank God that at 13 I didn't know that. Thanks for the specifics.
     
    Bacpacker, phideaux and Sentry18 like this.
  17. Oct 9, 2019 #17

    dademoss

    dademoss

    dademoss

    Jack of all trades. Neighbor HCL Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2017
    Messages:
    1,018
    Likes Received:
    5,328
    Location:
    Fort Coleraine, Ohio
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
    Bacpacker, Peanut and Sentry18 like this.
  18. Oct 9, 2019 #18

    Sentry18

    Sentry18

    Sentry18

    Hired Gun Staff Member Moderator Neighbor HCL Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2017
    Messages:
    8,889
    Likes Received:
    48,518
    Part 2 of the original article.

    https://survivalblog.com/black-powder-self-reliance-part-2-m-b/

     
    Caribou, Bacpacker and Peanut like this.
  19. Oct 9, 2019 #19

    Sentry18

    Sentry18

    Sentry18

    Hired Gun Staff Member Moderator Neighbor HCL Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2017
    Messages:
    8,889
    Likes Received:
    48,518
     
    Caribou, Bacpacker and Peanut like this.
  20. Oct 9, 2019 #20

    Peanut

    Peanut

    Peanut

    Awesome Friend Neighbor HCL Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2017
    Messages:
    3,075
    Likes Received:
    17,527
    Thanks Sentry! This guy actually knows the numbers and the process! A nice little guide to print out! I have a guide I printed out years ago but have no idea where its at...

    Think I've posted this before... It seems the military sent notices to every dairy in the northeast that they were going to haul away their cow poop before/during ww2 (its saturated with urine)... The military hauled it to west virginia to process out the potassium nitrate.

    Hey Grandpa! What did you do during the war?
    Well, I hauled cow poop to West Virginia! :D
     
    Bacpacker and Sentry18 like this.
  21. Oct 9, 2019 #21

    hiwall

    hiwall

    hiwall

    Awesome Friend Neighbor HCL Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2017
    Messages:
    2,086
    Likes Received:
    11,969
    Location:
    White Mountians AZ
    You can also make white powder. Instead of charcoal, use sugar. Either powdered sugar or better to run it through the ball mill
     
  22. Oct 10, 2019 #22

    Sentry18

    Sentry18

    Sentry18

    Hired Gun Staff Member Moderator Neighbor HCL Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2017
    Messages:
    8,889
    Likes Received:
    48,518
    Part 3.

    https://survivalblog.com/black-powder-self-reliance-part-3-m-b/


     
    Bacpacker likes this.
  23. Oct 10, 2019 #23

    Sentry18

    Sentry18

    Sentry18

    Hired Gun Staff Member Moderator Neighbor HCL Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2017
    Messages:
    8,889
    Likes Received:
    48,518
     
    Caribou, Bacpacker and Peanut like this.
  24. Oct 10, 2019 #24

    hiwall

    hiwall

    hiwall

    Awesome Friend Neighbor HCL Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2017
    Messages:
    2,086
    Likes Received:
    11,969
    Location:
    White Mountians AZ
    Just how long do some people plan for anyway?
    With a muzzle loader in the end times you will not be shooting 500 rounds a day for practice. So just store some extra caps and buy a few extra pounds of powder.
     
    ssonb, Terri9630, Bacpacker and 2 others like this.
  25. Oct 10, 2019 #25

    SheepDog

    SheepDog

    SheepDog

    Awesome Friend Neighbor HCL Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2017
    Messages:
    2,945
    Likes Received:
    13,277
    Location:
    SE Washington State
    I don't use black powder but I do have a stock of primers, powders and bullets. I even have a bit of black powder and fuse for my signal cannon.
    Black powder can be used to make mortars and rockets too, if you know the math or are willing to test and improve.
    I have a 6-12 volt 6 position launch controller that I built when I was making model rockets years ago.
     
    Caribou, Bacpacker and Sentry18 like this.
  26. Oct 10, 2019 #26

    viking

    viking

    viking

    I know a lot of things, but master very few Neighbor HCL Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2018
    Messages:
    426
    Likes Received:
    2,208
    Location:
    S.W. Oregon
    We had a neighbor on our east side many years ago that had a black power cannon and he made his own blackpowder, with the cake process using a very small portion of water, when it dried out he broke it into small pieces and screened the powder, that's the way it used to be done and by using different screen sizes is how they'd get pistol, rifle and cannon sized powder. He set that cannon off one New Years day and it sounded like a box of dynamite had been blown. Back when I was in the eighth grade I found the basic formula in our spelling book, I went to a drug store and found the sulfur, saltpeter and charcoal and work with the mix until I got one to work pretty good, I used 1/2" water pipe with a cap and a small drilled hole for a blow hole and used wadded newspaper to hold the power in, I knew better than to put any kind of load down the pipe because I knew how pipes were made and that they would split, it's probably a good thing I never learned how to make blackpowder cake because as fast as that burns, I might have had to dodge pieces of split pipe.
     
    Caribou, Terri9630, Bacpacker and 2 others like this.
  27. Oct 11, 2019 #27

    Sentry18

    Sentry18

    Sentry18

    Hired Gun Staff Member Moderator Neighbor HCL Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2017
    Messages:
    8,889
    Likes Received:
    48,518
    Part 4 - the final article.

    https://survivalblog.com/black-powder-self-reliance-part-4-m-b/

     

Share This Page